W. Ian Lipkin

W. Ian Lipkin

W. Ian Lipkin

John Snow Professor


Center for Infection and Immunity, 722 West 168th Street, Room 1703a New York NY USA 10032
Website address: Email:


W. Ian Lipkin, MD, is internationally recognized as an authority on the use of molecular methods for pathogen discovery. Dr. Lipkin has over 30 years of experience in diagnostics, microbial discovery and outbreak response, has mentored and trained more than 30 students and post-doctoral fellows and leads a team of over 65 investigators, post-doctoral fellows and research and support staff in New York City and another 150 across the world. In the 1980s, Dr. Lipkin identified AIDS-associated immunological abnormalities and inflammatory neuropathy, which he showed could be treated with plasmapheresis, and demonstrated that early life exposure to viral infections affects neurotransmitter function. He was the first to use purely molecular methods to identify an infectious agent, developed MassTag PCR and GreeneChip technology and pioneered the use of high throughput sequencing in pathogen discovery. He and his team implicated West Nile virus as the cause of the encephalitis epidemic in New York in 1999 and have discovered or characterized more than 500 infectious agents including Borna disease virus, West Nile virus, LuJo virus and human rhinovirus C. Dr. Lipkin assisted the WHO and the Peoples Republic of China during the 2003 SARS outbreak and currently advises the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in addressing the challenge of MERS. He also directs large programs focused on autism and chronic fatigue syndrome wherein gene-environment interactions such as infection and intoxication are postulated to cause disease. Dr. Lipkin has been featured by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Discover Magazine, Nature Medicine, the History Channel, National Geographic, CNN, Fox, National Public Radio, Wired, and the Huffington Post. He was the chief scientific consultant for the Soderbergh film "Contagion" and is working on a new series for AMC. Photo courtesy: Columbia Technology Ventures: http://www.techventures.columbia.edu/



MD, 1978, Rush University
BA, 1974, Sarah Lawrence College


Director, Center for Infection and Immunity

Editorial Boards


Academic Appointments

Professor , Neurology and Pathology
Director , Center for Infection & Immunity
Director , NIAID Center for Research in Diagnostics and Discovery
Scientific Director, Joint Research Laboratory for Pathogen Discovery,

Additional Affiliations

Dalldorf Affiliated Research Physician, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health

Honors & Awards

Fellow, New York Academy of Sciences
Pew Scholar, 1991
Member, Advisory Committee to the Director, National Institutes of Health, 2013-
Simonyi Lecture, 2014
Mendel Medal, 2014

Areas of Expertise

Autism, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Emerging Infections

Select Urban Health Activities

Pathogen Surveillance in NYC Rodents: Primary investigator on project to determine the microflora of rats and mice in proximity to densely populated and high traffic areas in New York City.

Select Global Activities

Gene: Environment Interactions in an Autism Birth Cohort, Norway: Dr. Lipkin is principal investigator of a prospective birth cohort of 100,000 women, their children and partners focused on determining the epidemiology, natural trajectory of disease, and pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders.
World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Diagnostics in Zoonotic and Emerging Infectious Diseases, World
Joint Research Laboratory for Pathogen Discovery with the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Select Publications

Lipkin WI, Parry G, Kiprov D, Abrams D (1985) Inflammatory neuropathy in homosexual men with lymphadenopathy. Neurology, 35: 1479.
Alagaili AN, Briese T, Mishra N, Kapoor V, Sameroff SC, de Wit E, Munster VJ, Hensley LE, Zalmout IS, Kapoor A, Epstein JH, Karesh WB, Daszak P, Mohammed OB, Lipkin WI (2014) Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia. mBio, 5(2):e00884-14.
Lipkin WI (2013) The changing face of pathogen surveillance and discovery. Nature Rev Microbiol, 11: 133.
Anthony SJ, Epstein JH, Murray KA, Navarrete-Macias I, Zambrana-Torrelio CM, Solovyov A, Ojeda-Flores R, Arrigo NC, Islam A, Khan SA, Hosseini P, Bogich TL, Olival KJ, Sanchez-Leon MD, Karesh WB, Goldstein T, Luby SP, Morse SS, Mazet JAK, Daszak P, Lipkin WI (2013) A strategy to estimate unknown viral diversity in mammals. mBio, 4:5 e00598-13
Alter HJ, Mikovits JA, Switzer WM, Ruscetti FW, Lo SC, Klimas N, Komaroff AL, Montoya JG, Bateman L, Levine S, Peterson D, Levin B, Hanson MR, Genfi A, Bhat M, Zheng H, Wang R, Li B, Hung GC, Lee LL, Sameroff S, Heneine W, Coffin J, Hornig M, Lipkin WI (2012) A multicenter blinded analysis indicates no association between chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis and either xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus or polytropic murine leukemia virus. mBio, 3: e00266-12.
Briese T, Palacios G, Kokoris M, Jabado O, Liu Z, Renwick N, Kapoor V, Casas I, Pozo F, Limberger R, Perez-Brena P, Ju J, Lipkin WI (2005) Diagnostic system for rapid and sensitive differential detection of pathogens Emerg Infect Dis, 1: 310-313.
Hoffman KL, Hornig M, Yaddanapudi K, Jabado O, Lipkin WI (2004) A murine model for neuropsychiatric disorders associated with group AЯ-hemolytic streptococcal infection J Neurosci, 24:1780-1791.
Hornig M, Weissenback H, Horscroft N, Lipkin WI (1999) An infection-based model of neurodevelopmental damage Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 96:12102-12107
Briese T, Jia X-J, Huang C, Grady LJ, Lipkin WI (1999) Identification of a Kunjin/West Nile-like flavivirus in brains of New York encephalitis patients. Lancet, 354: 1261.
Lipkin WI, Travis GH, Carbone KM, Wilson MC (1990) Isolation and characterization of Borna disease agent cDNA clones. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 87: 4184.

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